Max Verstappen charged from 9th on the grid to win the crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, his second consecutive triumph in Miami. Verstappen, starting on hard tires, squeezed every bit of life out of them, masterfully conserving them for 46 laps before pitting for mediums, which allowed him to easily pick off Sergio Perez for the lead on lap 48 and pull away for a five-second win.
“It was a good race,” Verstappen said. “I stayed out of trouble at the beginning, had a clean race, picked off the cars one by one and I could stay out really long on the hard tyre.”
Lewis Hamilton, who failed to reach Q3 on Saturday (May 6th), placed sixth after starting 13th and struggling early. Charles Leclerc came home 7th, while Alpine’s Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon finished 8th and 9th, respectively, and Kevin Magnussen, who amazed by qualifying 4th, took the final points-paying position.
Verstappen leads Perez in the driver standings, 119 to 105, with Alonso well back of both with 75.
In the constructor standings, Red Bull’s lead over Aston Martin ballooned to triple digits, 224 to 102.
Perez nailed the start, easily beating Alonso to Turn 1, while Carlos Sainz held serve. Pierre Gasly, George Russell, and Charles Leclerc all took advantage of an awful start by Kevin Magnussen, who started 4th.
Verstappen, one of the few to start on hard tires, held on to 9th through lap one and picked off Valtteri Bottas on lap 2 for 8th.
Hometown hero Logan Sargeant pitted much earlier than expected on lap 3 to replace his front wing.
Verstappen made a brilliant double-overtake at the end of lap 4, blasting by Magnussen and Leclerc as the Haas and Ferrari battled for 6th. The championship leader then began a charge for 5th and George Russell.
Meanwhile, up front, Perez had carved a two-second lead over Alonso, who was defending from Sainz, less than a second behind.
Verstappen set the fastest lap on lap six as he closed into DRS range on newly-minted rival Russell. Verstappen made the overtake on lap eight and was immediately in DRS range of Gasly.
Perez held form up front but communicated concern about his right-front tire.
Gasly was easy pickings on lap 10 as Verstappen zoomed by and into the top four, and it was clear that Verstappen’s sense of urgency was…